Fensholt, R, Sandholt, I (2003). Derivation of a shortwave infrared water stress index from MODIS near- and shortwave infrared data in a semiarid environment. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 87(1), 111-121.
Two different configurations of a shortwave infrared water stress index (SIWSI) are derived from the MODIS near- and shortwave infrared data. A large absorption by leaf water occurs in the shortwave infrared wavelengths (SWIR) and the reflectance from plants thereby is negatively related to leaf water content. Two configurations of a water stress index, SIWSI(6,2) and SIWSI(5,2) are derived on a daily basis from the MODIS satellite data using the information from the near infrared (NIR) channel 2 (841-876 nm) and the shortwave infrared channel 5 (1230-1250 nm) or 6 (1628-1652 nm), respectively, which are wavelength bands at which leaf water content influence the radiometric response. The indices are compared to in situ top layer soil moisture measurements from the semiarid Senegal 2001 and 2002, serving as an indicator of canopy water content. The year 2001 rainfall in the region was slightly below average and the results show a strong correlation between SIWSI and soil moisture. The SIWSI(6,2) performs slightly better than the SIWSI(5,2) (r(2) = 0.87 and 0.79). The fieldwork in 2002 did not verify the results found in 2001. However, year 2002 was an extremely dry year and the vegetation cover apparently was too sparse to provide information on the canopy water content. To test the robustness of the SIWSI findings in 2001, soil moisture has been modelled from daily rainfall data at 10 sites in the central and northern part of Senegal. The correlations between SIWSI and simulated soil moisture are generally high with a median r(2) = 0.72 for both configurations of the SIWSI. It is therefore suggested that the combined information from the MODIS near- and shortwave infrared wavelengths is useful as an indicator of canopy water stress in the semiarid Sahelian environment. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier Inc.